Consulting with a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer is crucial at the outset of a personal injury case. Whether it is a slip-and-fall accident, car crash, or a dog bite – among others – if you do not know your legal rights and have a good understanding of how the system works, you may be closing the door on the opportunity to a fair recovery for your injuries. A Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer can assist you with your claim and will fight to maximize the damages you recover, regardless of whether the case goes to trial or settles out of the courtroom.
An important part of a personal injury claim process is dealing with the insurance company. You may have to file a claim with your own insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. In any event, the process will be the same and the result may hinge on whether you have retained legal counsel or not. But why is it important to have a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer on your side just for dealing with your own insurance company? Many times an insurance company may offer you a check right away after an accident. If you blindly or impulsively accept it, you may be losing more than you have gained. Insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters whose job is to find the loopholes that allow the insurance company to pay you as little as possible. Thus, when you are offered a check immediately after an accident, you may be required to sign accompanying paperwork full of legalese and other technical jargon.
To a hasty reader, this document may seem to be simply stating that you are accepting the check as settlement, and that is the end of the story. But, how do you know you are getting a just compensation for your injuries? Had you gone to trial instead, could you have recovered more? Does the paper you are signing state that you are waiving a right to sue in the future? These are just some of the questions that you need to ask yourself when dealing with an insurance company after an accident. A Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer understands these companies’ practices, and, while they may not necessarily be deceptive or based on bad faith, a mistake on your part could cost you big in the future. Furthermore, dealing with an insurance company on your own can be an intimidating experience, leaving you vulnerable to the pressure they hope you will give into.
Part of the reason dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating is that you may not understand the process of filing your claim with them or the effect it may have on your case (e.g., are you waiving your right to sue them at a later time?) or on you, independently of the main case at hand. For instance, one may think that by filing a claim with your insurance company, your rates are going to go up automatically. But that is not necessarily always the case. Whether your rates increase or decrease depend on a variety of factors, and the majority of those factors can be found in the policy of your insurance company that you once had to accept in order to have coverage with them. Still, one may wonder: will my rate go up if I file a claim with my insurance company? Once again, the answer is “it depends."
One of the factors that determines whether a person’s insurance rates will go up after an accident is whether that person was at fault in causing the accident. Even if another person was 90% negligent is causing an accident and you were deemed to be 10% negligent, this may be enough for the insurance company to increase your rates. So, while your insurance company will not automatically increase your rates if you file a claim with them, the very case from which the claim arises might make your rates to go up. Whatever the case, it is important that you consult with your ** Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer** right after an accident to avoid making mistakes that could later haunt you.
It is also often a sad reality that a person may be involved in a case that seems to be a “slam dunk." The facts obviously point to the other person as the sole wrongdoer and the evidence is overwhelming. But one mistake, once again, could cost you big. In Arizona, when a case is fully litigated on the merits and a verdict is reached, subsequent claims arising from the same situation may be subsequently barred. Whether one person would want to take such a risk in a case where winning is practically guaranteed with the help of an attorney is obviously up to them and they, too, will be the bearer of such consequences. A Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer can assist you in determining the likelihood of your case and whether winning is simply “possible" as opposed to “highly probable." Mistakes in signing papers you may not fully understand, or mistakes in dealing with a party opponent before trial in settlement conferences, or mistakes in the very trial… All of these could have an outcome-determinative effect that may negatively and conclusively alter your case.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.